Pompano Beach Burglar Who Targeted Elderly Busted: BSO

A Pompano Beach burglar who preyed on elderly victims while they slept has been arrested, authorities said Friday.

Eric Steven Vanyo, 19, was arrested on burglary, fraud and possession of stolen property charges late Thursday following a pair of break-ins, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

Vanyo was being held without bond Friday. It's unknown if he has an attorney.

Detectives say Vanyo's first burglary was committed on July 23, when he pried open the window to 93-year-old Dan Thomas' bedroom while Thomas slept inside, the BSO said. Vanyo got away with a gold ring, a watch and two rolls of quarters, but he cut himself when he shattered the window, the BSO said.

The same night, Vanyo broke into 93-year-old Finas Geller's home while slept in her bedroom. Geller awoke to see Vanyo at the foot of her bed rummaging through her dresser, the BSO said. Vanyo fled with some of Geller's costume jewelry.

Then on August 6, Vanyo returned to Thomas' home, crept into his bedroom and slipped a ring off Thomas' finger while he slept, then stole a television and power tools, the BSO said. The ring had been on the World War II veteran's finger since 1944 and was a reminder of his deceased wife, the BSO said.

Forensic scientists at the BSO's crime lab were able to take a blood sample from the broken window and matched the DNA to Vanyo, a convicted felon, the BSO said.

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